I would like to establish up front that I both believe in God and that I am blocked by Hideki Kamiya on Twitter. I think it’s important for you to know before my next statement, so as not to sound hyperbolic or biased. Please keep these two things in mind as you read on.
There hasn’t been a single game better than Bayonetta since its release in 2009 (early 2010 outside of Japan). The only thing that ever came close came out in 2014, namely Bayonetta 2. Put simply, the Bayonetta series is the pinnacle of gaming. Although I do think there are a lot of games released before 2009 that are better. as Bayonetta, such as Deadly Rooms of Death, Tony Hawk’s Underground, which Matrix mod I had as a kid for Max Payne where you played as Neo in the government lobby shootout, and Street Fighter II, nothing since has reached the heights of PlatinumGames’ first character action franchise .
I pray every night before going to bed. This, in my opinion, secured me a rightful place in Heaven and saved me from eternal damnation. As long as I’m going through this largely scripted three-minute prayer, whatever I do on Earth, I should be sitting in death. My faith is important to me, a way to take inventory of my day and end my night with a little reflection. But my faith is not foolproof, because as far as I’m concerned the coolest thing ever designed, coded, and scripted in a video game is the Bayonetta series fight, which has you beat the Holy Hell out of the legions of God. Angels.
Character action games such as the Devil May Cry, God of War, and Bayonetta series only work based on how well they play. Because the action is fast-paced and there is a lot going on. the screen at a given moment, the controls must be responsive, fast and feel good so as not to get lost in the chaos; it should appear out of control, but the player should never be in control. Bayonetta is one of the best examples of a well-made character action game. Easy to play but hard to master, even when you mash buttons you still feel in control of the flow of action. As you get better in the game, that control becomes control of the action. Combined with a sleek layout, little details like time slowing down just before an enemy attack (allowing you to dodge, activate time-stopping witch time, giving you the upper hand), and the ability to switch between two different weapon sets on the fly, the combat is incredibly precise.
Bayonetta games were directed by Hideki Kamiya, one of the four co-founders of PlatinumGames. Early in her career, Kamiya made a name for herself directing Resident Evil 2 for Capcom, but it was her sleek action games that developed her legacy, directing landmark Devil May Cry and cult classic Viewtiful Joe. . Bayonetta grew out of a long history of making these types of action games. Along with Kamiya, there are a number of Platinum employees who are involved in the development of other character action games – including co-founders Atsushi Inaba and Shinji Mikami (best known for creating Resident Evil).
In many ways, Kamiya has become the face of the character action genre. Seeing the director’s name in the credits of a game like Bayonetta usually means that at least the game will be fun to play. Bayonetta, as far as I’m concerned, is Kamiya’s magnum opus, and one of the greatest games ever made without competition. Kamiya blocked me on Twitter for reasons I can’t remember, so I would like to stress that this is an objective fact and not a biased opinion or fanboyism, as my personal feelings on him are that he shouldn’t have blocked me. I have very good tweets.
I know many people will dispute such a bold statement. In 12 years, no developer in the global game industry has been able to reach the heights of the Bayonetta series. I can hear the arguments now, on games like The Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption 2, The Witcher 3. But let me ask you: what do we always praise when we talk about these games? The stories. You know what else has stories? Books! Do you know what books don’t have? The ability to spank an angel you just beat with big giant haired monsters and guns strapped to stiletto heels is what. You show me a page in Canterbury Tales where it happens and I will change my tune. But by then, Chaucer can suck a lemon for whatever I want.
Stories in games like The Last of Us, Red Dead, Witcher 3, they’re good, yes. Mostly derivative and does better in other mediums, but they’re good. Are any of them fun to play? It is a more delicate thing to answer. The Last of Us can be a mediocre shooter. Red Dead Redemption 2, for how much I loved its stories and characters, was bogged down with more systems than he knew what to do with, often at odds with each other. The Witcher 3 is terrible to play and you literally can’t tell me otherwise.
Can your game be difficult to play and still have a great story? Of course, it is possible. Naughty Dog has released a lot of games at this point. But I sometimes wonder if in these conversations we are blinded by the price of a game, giving passes to poor game or fundamental issues because the game is good and the faces are realistically animated. (Also, I’m not implying that this is the metric by which we judge every game. Tetris is also one of the best games ever made because it’s fun to play. However, I think more recently we have come to think of it. We’re hooked on technical presentation versus gameplay; as games become more technologically advanced and storytelling tries to improve)
Bayonetta games have stories – a lot! It just doesn’t matter to me. This game could do or say anything, and I will keep pushing buttons to destroy these angels. How could I not? Bayonetta is one of the only games where just seeing footage of the game in a YouTube video or something will cause me to give it all up and play it myself. The story is there, it could be good I don’t know, but the most important is that Bayonetta is a game that I want to play. And there is no game that I know of that is more enjoyable to play. As far as I’m concerned, that makes you a prime candidate for one of the greatest games ever made. Easy. No competition. Lots of games have come out since the first Bayonetta was released in 2009, but between them and moving back into Platinum, I’m going with whichever feels the best.